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Eva’s House Bed & Breakfast back on track after Hatfield-McCoy Trails reopens

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Bed and Breakfast's around the mountain state are among businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Thursday's reopening of the Hatfield-McCoy's ATV trail system is putting one bed and breakfast in McDowell County is back on track.

Guests of bed and breakfast's usually book rooms months in advance, but cancellations, not reservations have plagued the industry since the onset of the pandemic.

Spring is usually one of the busiest seasons for bed and breakfast's like Eva's House in Gary. Stay-at-home orders dried-up the cash flow into this hospitality business.

"It hurt us. We lost almost $20,000 in reservations. We were considered essential, 95% of our business is trail business, so because of that what are you supposed to do," Owner of Eva's House, Sandi Blankenship said.

"It's a good thing we had money saved up. We got one grant from the Small Business Association, $1000. We got denied for a loan and they said the reason was because we had not been financially impacted by COVID-19," she explained.

Eva's House accommodates up to 55 guest, but restrictions now cuts that capacity in half. But for guests, it's better than being on lock down and they welcome their return to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails.

"It's just fun getting out and doing things like this even if you're in quarantine or not," ATV Rider, Hayes Gladden said.

"It's our release. It's so un-everything we do. These rides are important to us," Side by Side ATV Rider, Lee Norman said.

"I'm a first timer, and super excited to experience it," ATV Rider, Dustin Honeycutt said.

"It feels free, it's pretty nice. We don't have this much area where I'm from, so when they shutdown everything, it's part of my life," ATV Rider, Russell Emerick said.

These riders are regular guests here, but reopening in time for Memorial Day makes this trip extra special.

"This ride is special because we're memorializing a friend that was taken by an act of senseless violence in Charlotte after he rode with us in November. He died in December and we planned a ride in January. This ride is dedicated to Bob Hopkins and his wife and son will be here with us," Norman revealed.

Blankenship is happy to be back in business and to be available for her ATV guests as the trail system reopens.

Star Connor

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